Date: 22nd November 2012 at 1:05pm
Written by:

Deep inside the mind of Roman, lies a vision of a Soccer team, dominating the world with an attacking flair of soccer, entertaining its spectators with a free flowing style of play, classy, smooth and a sight for the eyes of football fans across the world.

This is not just a dream, but one that can be backed with mighty financial support, that its existence sounds a reality. However in this great vision, lies a flaw and the famous quote comes to mind ‘Rome was not build in a day’.

Money can’t always help achieve a vision, if it lacks a rational foundation for its execution, coupled with patience and sustained perseverance. A rational foundation, to Roman’s vision of soccer, needs the following for its successful execution

1 – A proven Manager, with great tactical and management qualities.
2 – A plan clearly outlining the path of achieving the vision
3 – Managing Fans/Media Expectations, from the start
4 – The right set of players, or a plan of acquiring them in a due course of time.

Each of the Managers under Roman’s tenure at Chelsea sadly had some of the above qualities, but not all to achieve the great vision.

Let’s look at some of Chelsea’s previous Manager’s for examples of a flawed execution of Roman’s vision.

In Mourinho, Chelsea had the best proven Manager with great tactical and management qualities. Mourinho achieved great success in terms of wins, in his first two years at Chelsea, but however failed to achieve Romans vision of how the game should be played. Mourinho’s Chelsea team had the tenacity and efficiency to win games, but not the flair for the flowing, expressive style of soccer that Roman desired to see, and ultimately led to the downfall of one of the most loved coaches at Chelsea.

Ancelotti, with his vast success of Champion’s league soccer looked like the man for the long haul, and though Chelsea achieved success during his time, they also lacked a consistent attacking style of play demanded by Roman. The vision of winning with style, and fluidity was at constant struggle with the demands of needing to win games at all cost. Ancelotti, with all his experience did the best he could to create an attacking style, but lacked consistency partly due to player injuries and also not having the right type of players to create a fluid attacking style of play. Ancelotti, eventually was sacked, not deemed as the right person to rebuild a team for the future.

In Andre Villas Boas, it finally appeared that Roman was willing to go with a fresh start of building a team for the future. So a new style of play was created using a group of players, schooled in the Mourinho philosophy of winning games, where the emphasis was win at all cost and style did not matter. However, the foundation of this project was badly flawed from the start and Andre was eventually sacked. Incidentally Di Matteo, took over and then won using the old Mourinho philosophy, but not in the vision of Roman.

Roberto Di Matteo, earned his right but there was always the question of Roberto’s tactical experience at the highest level. The game results under Di Matteo, were a combination of brilliance of its newly acquired attacking players, but at the same time a failure due to deficiencies in its critical areas and a lack of coherent team organization and building that can best happen over a period of time. Momentary brilliance of its newly acquired talent, was the cornerstone of Di Matteo’s early success, but also the false hope that a new style was created overnight as it became evident that it was indeed a team without a structured organization in defense, midfield and transition.

Great teams are not built in a day, but evolve as a result of solid foundation, executed with patience and perseverance. Roman’s vision may still be alive, but the lessons of the past must be learned or else the Chelsea project will always remain a great vision with a flawed execution.